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Best Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids for 2021

Our experts tested and researched 10 over-the-counter hearing aids and narrowed the list to their Top 5 recommendations.

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Best OTC Hearing Aid Overall
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(800) 854-2772
Best In-the-Canal OTC Hearing Aid
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855-922-3431
Best Rechargeable OTC Hearing Aid
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(800) 422-9380
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Top 5 Over-The-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids

When you’re shopping for an over-the-counter hearing aid, it’s important to consider not only the price, but also the features. The one you choose should offer the fundamental features for a comfortable listening experience. To help you make an informed purchase, we have ranked the top six over-the-counter hearing aid manufacturers.

The Best Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids for 2021

How We Chose the Best OTC Hearing Aids

We evaluated a variety of criteria, including affordability and functionality, to craft this list of our top five over-the-counter hearing aids. Here are the best hearing aid manufacturers that made our list!

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Products considered
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Experts consulted
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Products selected
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Hours of research

Who Are Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids For?

Hearing aids can make a world of difference in the quality of life for people with hearing loss. Unfortunately, conventional hearing aids can be very costly, and not everyone can afford the doctor visit, let alone the devices. This is where over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids come into play! Nonprescription hearing aids are ideal for those suffering from mild or moderate hearing loss. These hearing aids can be readily purchased online or in drugstores without audiological review or approval from a medical practitioner. Similar to prescription hearing aids, OTC ones come in different styles, shapes, and sizes.

Things to Keep in Mind When Purchasing an Over-The-Counter Hearing Aid

You might assume that buying an over-the-counter hearing aid is simple, especially since you don’t need a doctor’s prescription to get one. However, it can be a bit tricky if you don’t already know what to look for. To help you out, we’ve put together an explanation of a few important criteria that you should consider as you evaluate your hearing aid options.

Price

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. Of course, when you’re shopping for any hearing aid, price is a big factor to consider. If you’re shopping for an OTC hearing aid, it’s smart to look for a moderately priced one, because anything too cheap may not have all the functions you need or be made of the best-quality materials. On the other hand, anything too expensive negates the purpose of going over the counter instead of the prescription route.

Battery Life

Your hearing aid is only as good as the battery life allows it to be, so it’s essential to get an OTC hearing aid that will stay powered on and active to accommodate your lifestyle. Make sure that it lasts long enough to get you through the day, at the very least.

Warranty

Even though over-the-counter hearing aids are much more affordable than conventional prescription hearing aids, you still want to get one backed by a good warranty. Chances are, if you get a decent hearing aid, it may still amount to a couple hundred dollars. A solid warranty ensures that you can get it fixed or replaced by the manufacturer at no additional cost within a certain time frame.

Size & Weight

You’ll likely spend a lot of hours wearing your hearing aids during the day, so it’s important to consider how they’ll fit, feel, and look. Are you in the market for a discreet, practically invisible hearing aid, or would you rather have one that is bigger but easier to operate? Those are questions you’ll want to consider. Also, regardless of the size you end up going with, it’s crucial to choose a lightweight device for optimal comfort.

Volume Control

Only purchase models that offer full volume control. This way, you can “tune in” the volume to fit your situation (e.g., louder in noisy environments, softer in quiet environments). Not all over-the-counter hearing aids offer this feature.

Pros & Cons of Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids

Still unsure whether over-the-counter hearing aids are right for you? Let’s take a moment to weigh the popular pros and cons.

What We Like About Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids

  • Affordability: One of the biggest reasons people opt for over-the-counter hearing aids is that they are often much more affordable. Prescription hearing aids typically cost thousands of dollars, which may not be viable for seniors on a fixed or low income.
  • Ready availability: Over-the-counter hearing aids could arrive at your door in as little as two days. You don’t need to wait for a doctor’s approval, the slower ordering process that comes along with prescription hearing aids, or a fitting appointment. Instead, you can order them online whenever you’re ready. They’ll arrive ready to go or with easy-to-follow assembly instructions.
  • Simplicity: OTC hearing aids tend to have limited features, which could be a good or bad thing. It falls in the “pro” column if you have mild to moderate hearing loss and are not interested in spending money on features that are too complicated to use or just unnecessary for your hearing needs.
  • Smart choice for new hearing aid users: If you are totally new to hearing aids, it may be smart to try out over-the-counter hearing aids before possibly getting prescription ones. That way, you can take advantage of a quick and easy solution while becoming more familiar with your hearing needs.

Things to Keep in Mind About Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids

  • They’re not ideal for severe hearing loss. Unfortunately, if your hearing loss is more profound, you will need to get a prescription hearing aid that offers more functions, features, and controls. If you are unsure, speaking with your doctor about your hearing concerns first is a wonderful way to determine whether an over-the-counter or prescription hearing aid is best for you.
  • They’re not custom-fit. Since over-the-counter hearing aids are not professionally molded to your ears, they may not be as comfortable.
  • The quality may not meet your expectations. A lower-quality OTC hearing aid may not deliver a seamless hearing experience. This is not to say that the quality of all over-the-counter hearing aids is inferior to prescription ones, though. Everyone’s hearing needs are different, which is why it’s important to shop around to find the ideal solution for your needs.

Final Thoughts on OTC Hearing Aids for Seniors

More than 6 million older adults avoid hearing aids because of the cost. Over-the-counter hearing aid manufacturers are trying to change that. While OTC hearing aids aren’t for everyone, they are a vital and accessible option for many older adults who struggle with mild to moderate hearing loss. Whether you’re new to hearing aids, unable to get a doctor’s prescription, or simply unable to afford a prescription model, over-the-counter hearing aids may be the quick, easy, and promising solution you need.

Written By

Jeff Hoyt

Editor in Chief

Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt